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moodysky's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 6 days ago
Joined: Jan 10 2023 - 11:18am
Mp3 player or amp for headphones ?

Hi everyone

The jack input of my Fiio Mark 3 being broken, I've been thinking about buying a new player (Sony NW A105 or Hiby R3 Pro Saber), but after reading different articles (some of them contradictory) I'm now wondering about the usefulness of a headphone amp (this one actually : [url][/url]).

I'm ignorant about all that stuff so I have some questions :

Is it wiser to simply buy a new player OR to use this amp with my Fiio X3, which would solve the jack input problem ?

This second solution would be better budget-wise, though I'm not sure I understand the role of the headphone amp here : the sound I'd get using the Fiio X3 and the amp ; would it be the result of the amp sound treatment only or would I also get the treatment (and the quality) of the Fiio X3 ? Or the Fiio would no longer play a role regarding the audio quality?

And if the headphone amp is the only responsible for quality, why not just buying an amp that you'd plug into anything (smartphone, etc) without worrying about the quality of the player ?

I hope I've been clear in my questions. Thanks a lot for your help guys !

manunkind's picture
Last seen: 3 days 3 hours ago
Joined: Apr 27 2019 - 7:27am
To play digital music, you

To play digital music, you need two main components: an amplifier and a DAC. Both have serious impact on the quality: DAC converts the digital signal into the analogue, and the amplifier amplifies the analogue signal. Digital MP3 players have both DAC and amplifier integrated, with different degrees of success.
In my opinion, mp3 players (and indeed mp3 format itself) are good enough for travel, commute, audiobooks. Any serious musical experience will require good headset, which will require a decent headphone amp and a DAC. DAC can be hooked up to your phone or audio player.
I just sold my Burson Soloist (headphone amp) which I loved- but I find that my main integrated amplifier does just as good of a job.
In othwr words: if you looking to treat yourself with a competent headset, sit back and enjoy- you will need something more than FiiO. If you're computing to work on a noisy train and just want a pair of noise-cancell8ng headphones - just use your phone.

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